Somehow it’s already the end of October and time for this month’s Guest Test Kitchen. Birthdays, celebrations, and shortened daylight helped our favorite month zoom right by us. While in college, Amir spent most of that time in the University of North Carolina’s Orientation Office. There he worked under this month’s guest blogger Carrie, who has now become a mentor and friend. A mother of two young girls, Carrie and her husband certainly have their hands full. She was enthusiastic to share this fun treat with us, just in time for Halloween, that she and her family love. We think you’ll love it too. It’s kid tested and Mother approved. Here’s Carrie!
“I have always enjoyed baking, ever since I was little. Now that I am a mother of two sweet “girly” girls, I thought it would be fun to take a cake decorating class to give me some skills to make creative birthday cakes for all of their “fancy & girl” birthday parties. Well, I took the three Wilton cake decorating courses offered at Michael’s craft stores and really became obsessed with cake decorating! I have been making birthday cakes for my friends’ children and cupcakes for some charity events, which has now turned into a small business for me. With this new found hobby/business, I was asked to make some cupcakes for a Halloween party and immediately wanted to try making a cupcake with a gooey center. Since the guests are all adults, I thought what would be better than to mix chocolate & Guinness together. If you’ve ever had a stout beer, you can just taste a hint of chocolate or coffee, depending on the beer. Of course, in my mind, what could be better than combining all of those great flavors into a cupcake? Apparently I’m not the only one who thought Guinness would be great in a cupcake since a quick search on Google gave me plenty of results. I chose a recipe for Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting to play with. I have adapted Confessions of A Tarts’ version of Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. It may not be a gooey center, but seriously might be the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever tasted. Enjoy!”
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Sweet Cream Icing – Approx. 2 dozen (Adapted from Confessions of A Tarts’ and Smitten Kitchen)
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup Guinness beer
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons of Guinness, optional
Sweet Cream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
3 to 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4-6 tablespoons Nestle Italian Sweet Cream liquid coffee creamer
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F & line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
Put the butter with the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature.
To make the filling:
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and optional Guinness and stir until combined. (I also find it just as easy to create a double boiler with a pot of water, about 2” of water heated to boiling. Reduce to a simmer, then place the chocolate, butter, and optional Guinness in a heat safe bowl on the pot of simmering water. Continue to stir until chocolate is melted and all ingredients are combined.)
To fill the cupcakes:
Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Using a 1” round cookie cutter or a small knife, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. (I went about half to 2/3 of the way down and used a small knife to help me extract the centers.) Put the ganache into a piping or sandwich bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
To make the frosting:
In a large bowl, whip the butter and shortening for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Add 1-2 cups of powdered sugar at a time and mix until the icing becomes thicker and stiff. Add 1 tablespoon of the Coffee Mate at a time, mixing after each addition. Check to make sure the icing is thick, but not too stiff to pipe onto your cupcakes with a pastry bag & decorating tip or just using a plastic sandwich bag.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.